TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Digitized Sound
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Basic School

Related Info: Sound Manager

Playing Digitized Sound
in QuickBasic

By Robert Spencer, East Lyme, CT

Digitized Sound in QuickBasic

While Microsoft QuickBasic is my favorite language for getting things done quickly, it doesn’t have the power to produce applications as rich in Mac features as Pascal or C. Fortunately, Microsoft gives us the ability to add to the language with “pure code resources”, or MBPC’s, which can be added to QuickBasic itself and/or applications it creates. MBPC’s themselves must be written in Pascal or C, and compiled with the glue routines that QuickBasic needs. Once added to the resource fork of QuickBasic, an MBPC simply adds a new statement to the language. When this statement is encountered, control is passed to the compiled code. From my point of view this is a great way to work -- I get the quick turnaround time and comforting environment of an interpreter (it takes care of the user interface, memory management, printing, MultiFinder, DA’s, etc.), but when necessary for speed or language extension, I can write simple, short compiled routines.

In this article I use MBPC’s to demonstrate one of the things that you can’t do directly in QuickBasic: play digitized sound -- not just MacinTalk-like speech, but the high-quality music and voices that add so much pizzazz to HyperCard and games.

The QuickBasic manual and disks give examples for code resource writing with MPW Pascal, MPW C, and Lightspeed C. As Murphy’s Law would have it, my second language is THINK Pascal -- but fortunately the MPW Pascal glue routines supplied by Microsoft work without modification in THINK Pascal 2.0. The two MBPC resources shown below are SetSoundVol, which allows you to set the speaker volume from within QuickBasic, and PlaySound, which lets you play any digitized ‘snd ‘ resource (note the trailing space in ‘snd ‘). These new commands can be used in either interpreted or compiled Microsoft QuickBasic 1.0.

Changing the Speaker Volume

First is SetSoundVol, a minimal MBPC. The speaker volume could be changed without writing an MBPC, by using QuickBasic’s ToolBox command -- but it’s so simple that it’s a good starting example for MBPC programming.

The code (listing 1) is straightforward since there are only three lines that “do” anything. First, the glue routines GetNextLibArg and IntegerArg pass the desired sound volume (an integer 0,1,..,7) from QuickBasic, and then SetSoundVol(MyVolume) does the work. There is no error checking or trapping, so you should make sure the passed number is a legal value. Note also that the number can be passed by value or by name, since the routine doesn’t try to change it.

Build the project as shown in the SetVolume.Π project window. The DRVRRuntime.lib library is necessary for pure code resources; both it and Interface.lib come with THINK Pascal. BasicLib.a.o and BasicLibMPWP.p are the glue files for MPW Pascal that come with QuickBasic, and they link without modification under THINK Pascal. Finally, before compiling, fill in the Set Project Type... dialog for a Code Resource. This is shown for the PlaySound project; for SetSoundVol, just change the resource name to SetSoundVol and give it a different ID number. After compiling and linking, use ResEdit to copy SetSoundVol and then paste it into QuickBasic. If you don’t want to do this, or if you want to distribute a program to others who will use it under interpreted QuickBasic, you’ll have to include a LIBRARY statement in your Basic programs that refers to a separate file with SetSoundVol in its resource fork.

For a very simple demo of SetSoundVol, the following program is hard to beat:


‘ SetSoundVol minimal demo
‘ Uncomment the LIBRARY command
‘ if you don’t insert the MBPC into QB
FOR i = 1 to 5
   SetSoundVol 1 : BEEP
   SetSoundVol 7 : BEEP

For a better demo, see listing 3, the QuickBasic program that demonstrates PlaySound, since it also uses SetSoundVol.

Playing Digitized Sounds

Playing digitized sounds isn’t difficult, but it’s significantly more complex than just changing the speaker volume, and I’m grateful for the guidance provided by MacTutor authors before me. In particular, Todd Carper’s 4th Dimension externals for playing sound (MacTutor 9, 42, and The Definitive MacTutor IV, 356-363) are in the same spirit as this QuickBasic MBPC (listing 2).

To keep things simple, let QuickBasic do as much of the work as possible. I assume that QuickBasic has opened the file(s) containing the ‘snd ‘ resources required (the System file and the current application are automatically opened), and I also let QuickBasic determine the ‘snd ‘ resource numbers. In the demo program I put all available sounds in a menu, so I use CountRes, GetIndRes, and GetResInfo. If you wanted a specific named snd, you could use GetNamedRes and GetResInfo to get the resource number. Note that these statements are part of the QuickBasic “Toolbox Library”, so be explicit in typing your integers% and longints&. The ratio% parameter should have a value of 1,2,3, or 4, depending on the sampling frequency used when the ‘snd ‘ was recorded (22, 11, 7.3, or 5.5 kHz, respectively). Essentially, ratio% just determines the playback speed ( 1 = fast, 4 = slow), and you can experiment with it to find out what speed is correct for a given snd. There’s no return parameter provided, so if there’s an error (e.g. a bogus resource number), then nothing happens -- simply no sound plays (Zen error handling?).

My favorite place to find unusual ‘snd ‘ resources is in HyperCard stacks. You can open the resource fork of a stack directly and look for snd’s there; for example, inserting

' 2

FileRef% = 0        ‘    initialize FileRef%
OpenResFile “hard disk:HyperCard folder:Sound Stack”,FileRef%

into the demo program would add the snd resources in hard disk:HyperCard folder:Sound Stack to the Sounds menu. If you have sound resources but they aren’t of type ‘snd ‘, the Boston Computer Society distributes a useful stack and associated tools to change digitized sounds from one type to another.

Have fun!

Rob Spencer is a biochemist at Pfizer Central Research, Groton, CT. He has a B.A. in physics, a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and is fortunate to be able to combine his avocation (Mac programming) with his vocation (finding and assaying new drugs to treat human disease). He can be reached at (203) 441-3946.

Figure 1. The ‘Set Project Type...’ dialog in THINK Pascal

Figure 2. SetVolume Project

listing 1 : SetVolume.p

UNIT SetVolume;
{   Called from QuickBasic as:    }
{   SetSoundVol vol%              }
{    where vol% = 0,1,...,7       }


   tempflag, argtype, MyVolume: INT16;
   valptr: LIBARGPTR;
  argtype := GetNextLibArg(valptr, tempflag);
  MyVolume := IntegerArg;

Figure 3. The PlaySnd Project

listing 2: PlaySnd.p

UNIT PlaySoundUnit;
{   Called from QuickBASIC as:               }
{    CALL PlaySound (SndResNum%, ratio%)     }
{   in THINK Pascal by Rob Spencer   1/6/90  }



 PROCEDURE PlaySnd (SndResNum, Ratio: Integer);
{Thanks to Allan Wootton, The Complete MacTutor II, 230-235}
{and Todd Carper, The Definitive MacTutor IV, 356-363}
   FFSynthHandle = ^FFSynthPtr;
   MySndHandle: FFSynthHandle;
   MyPtr: Ptr;
   MyFFPtr: FFSynthPtr;
   MyRatio: integer;

  IF (Ratio > 0) AND (Ratio < 5) THEN
      { ratio must be 1..4 }
   MyRatio := Ratio
   MyRatio := 2;   { an arbitrary default }

  MySndHandle := FFSynthHandle(GetResource(‘snd ‘, SndResNum));
  IF MySndHandle <> NIL THEN
   MyPtr := Ptr(MySndHandle^);
   MyFFPtr := FFSynthPtr(MyPtr);
   MyFFPtr^.mode := FFMode;
   MyFFPtr^.count := FixRatio(1, MyRatio);
   MyFFPtr^.wavebytes[0] := 0;
   StartSound(MyPtr, GetHandleSize(Handle(MySndHandle)) - 6, pointer(-1));
 END;  { of PlaySnd }

 {------------------ main ------------------}
   tempflag, argtype: INT16;
   valptr: LIBARGPTR;
   SndResNum, ratio: integer;
  argtype := GetNextLibArg(valptr, tempflag);
  SndResNum := IntegerArg;      { get argument 1 }
  argtype := GetNextLibArg(valptr, tempflag);
  ratio := IntegerArg;          { get argument 2 }
  PlaySnd(SndResNum, ratio);

listing 3 : PlaySound Test Program

‘ PlaySound Test Program
‘ This QuickBASIC program will play ‘snd ‘
‘ resources from the resource fork of
‘ the application (either QB or itself if
‘ compiled) and the System file 
‘ (automatically opened).
‘ Rob Spencer      January 1990

GOSUB Initialize
WHILE NOT AllDone%      ‘   main event loop
dummy = FRE(-1)         ‘   compact the heap
‘_________________  subroutines ______________

   ‘   Uncomment the LIBRARY statement if the
   ‘   MBPCs SetSoundVol and PlaySound are in
   ‘   a separate MBPC file.
   ‘   LIBRARY MyMBPCLibName$
   DEFINT i-n
   ‘ use DIM SHARED to initialize variables
   ‘ as required by ToolBox Library statements
   DIM SHARED SndResNum%(21),handle&,NumSnds%
   DIM SHARED volume%,ratio%,dummy$,AllDone%,True%,False%
   False% = 0
   True% = NOT False%
   AllDone% = False%
   SndName$ = “”
   ‘   Uncomment the following to use a 
   ‘        separate snd file
   ‘   FileRef% = 0
   ‘   OpenResFile YourSndFileName$,FileRef%
   CountRes “snd “,NumSnds%
   ‘   limit to 20 items in a menu
   IF NumSnds%>20 THEN NumSnds% = 20

   ‘   set up menus
   MENU 1,0,1,”File”
   MENU 1,1,1,”Quit”
   CmdKey 1,1,”Q”
   MENU 3,0,1,”Sounds”
   FOR i% = 1 TO NumSnds%
      GetIndRes “snd “,i%,handle&
      GetResInfo handle&,SndResNum%(i%),dummy$,SndName$
      MENU 3,i%,1,SndName$
   NEXT i%
   MENU 4,0,1,”Volume”
   FOR i = 0 TO 7
      MENU 4,i+1,1,STR$(i)
   NEXT i
   MENU 5,0,1,”Compression”
   FOR i = 1 TO 4
      MENU 5,i,1,STR$(i)
   NEXT i
   MENU 6,0,1,”Combos”
   MENU 6,1,1,”random”
   ratio% = 2              ‘   set defaults
   MENU 5,2,2
   volume% = 5
   MENU 4,4,2
   SetSoundVol volume%

   dummy = FRE(-1)
SUB CheckEvent STATIC      ‘   only menu events
   MenuId% = MENU(0)
   ItemId% = MENU(1)
      CASE 1
         AllDone% = True%
      CASE 3
         PlaySound (SndResNum%(ItemId%)),(ratio%)
      CASE 4
         FOR i = 0 TO 7        ‘   uncheck all
            MENU 4,i+1,1
         NEXT i
         MENU 4,ItemId%,2      ‘   check ours
         volume% = ItemId%-1
         SetSoundVol (volume%)
      CASE 5
         ratio% = ItemId%
         FOR i = 1 TO 4        ‘   uncheck all
            MENU 5,i,1
         NEXT i
         MENU 5,ItemId%,2      ‘   check ours
      CASE 6
         FOR i% = 1 TO 10      ‘   play 10 snd ‘s  
            item% = NumSnds%*RND
            PlaySound (SndResNum%(item%)),(ratio%)
         NEXT i%
   IF MenuId%>0 THEN MENU MenuId%,0,1


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
How to get a high score in every level o...
Sky Charms is an adorable match three puzzler that provides a decent challenge thanks to its creative level design. It regularly presents something new, forcing you to think on your feet. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for... has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Tablets Had Worst Quarter Since 2012, says St...
The global tablet market began 2016 just as 2015 left off, down. Tablet shipments fell 10% to 46.5 million units during the Q1 2016, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and... Read more
Clearance 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbi...
Apple recently dropped prices on certified refurbished 2015 13″ MacBook Airs with 4GB of RAM with models now available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping... Read more
Aleratec Releases Mac Software Upgrade for 1...
California based Aleratec Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of Portable Device Management (PDM) charge/sync products for mobile devices and professional-grade duplicators for hard disk... Read more
Sale! Amazon offers 27-inch iMac, 13-inch 2.9...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.2GHz 5K iMac and the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $300 off MSRP, each including free shipping, for a limited time: - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD 5K iMac (model MK462LL/A): $... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Take $200 off MSRP on the price of a new 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (model MF839LL/A) at Amazon. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1099.99 $200 off MSRP Act now if... Read more

Jobs Board

Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 48260200 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Posted: Apr. 22, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.